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Trump to Amtrak Long Distance Trains: Drop Dead

City of New Orleans at the Union Passenger Terminal by Robert Kaufmann, FEMA Photo Library, via Wikimedia Commons City of New Orleans at the Union Passenger Terminal by Robert Kaufmann, FEMA Photo Library, via Wikimedia Commons

President Trump’s preliminary budget cuts all funding for Amtrak long-distance trains. Although there’s a lot I don’t like about this budget, I have to say I understand Trump’s position. Amtrak’s long-distance trains are money-losers, and despite the standard denials from Amtrak supporters, they’re really “land cruises” for people who like riding trains or hate airplanes and buses. And subsidizing a handful of expensive trains for those folks isn’t a high national priority.

But before you leave scathing comments about my position, I also believe that, when the dust settles, Amtrak will still have all or most of its long-distance trains running. The only reason Amtrak got funded in the first place was the decision to run long-distance trains, once a day or less, through enough states to garner congressional support, and that political reality isn’t going to change any time soon.

Ed Perkins, editor

For more travel tips from Ed Perkins, see our companion site Ed on Travel

1 Comment on Trump to Amtrak Long Distance Trains: Drop Dead

  1. I come from a Railroad family and I must agree with the president. when I was 12 years old I traveled to Chicago on the Pennsy Broadway limited we went coach and it was magnificent. The food in a dinning car cooked fresh. The treatment was wonderful. The whole trip both ways was a memory ill relish for all my life. For my 50th birthday I decided to treat myself to a train ride on Amtrac to Chicago. I went first class.It was horrid.It took 22 hours the bed was a joke the tv didn’t work and the staff was nasty. the food consisted of a plastic tray with some inedible substance that I wouldn’t feed to a dog. I had to eat it in my room because there was no loundge,bar or dinning car which really bothered me as I like a social dinning experience.The price was twice what id have paid for a plane tic which would have gotten me there in less the 2 hours. I cashed in my tic in Chicago and flew back to NYC. Never again will I take a Train any long distance. The trains in this country have become a shame. Not funding them is a great idea even though I love trains Im even a member of the friends of the GG-1.

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